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Spiral Jetta: A Road Trip Through the Land Art of the American West

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Spiral Jetta: A Road Trip Through the Land Art of the American West by Hogan, Erin, 9780226348469
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  • ISBN: 9780226348469 | 0226348466
  • Cover: Paperback
  • Copyright: 10/15/2009
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Erin Hogan hit the road in her Volkswagen Jetta and headed west from Chicago in search of the monuments of American land art: a salty coil of rocks, four hundred stainless-steel poles, a gash in a mesa, four concrete tubes, and military sheds filled with cubes. Her journey took her through the states of Utah, Nevada, New Mexico, Arizona, and Texas. It also took her through the states of anxiety, drunkenness, disorientation, and heat exhaustion.Spiral Jettais a chronicle of this journey. A lapsed art historian and devoted urbanite, Hogan initially sought firsthand experience of the monumental earthworks of the 1970s and the 1980sRobert Smithson'sSpiral Jetty,Nancy Holt'sSun Tunnels,Walter De Maria'sLightning Field,James Turrell'sRoden Crater, Michael Heizer'sDouble Negative, and the contemporary art mecca of Marfa, Texas. Armed with spotty directions, no compass, and less-than-desert-appropriate clothing, she found most of what she was looking for and then some. Her encounters with these artworks are recorded here, personal observations lightly draped in art history and theory. But for Hogan this trip was also the most extended time she had spent alone, and her 3,000-mile circuit through the west became an experiment in solitude, with mixed results. Spiral Jettaoffers a view of a critical moment of twentieth-century American art. It also offers a view of the American landscape, seen through the windshield of a car streaming through the empty highways of the American West, piloted by a woman who had no real idea where she was going.

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